Dark clouds are gathering over Cologne, and it’s to be hoped it’s not an ominous portent for Steve Clarke’s Scotland side with a little over 24 hours before the do-or-die clash with Switzerland.

There’s an official storm warning in place for “heavy rain, hail and heavy gusts of wind” so the organiser have shut down both the official fan zones and cancelled all events. The Tartan Army, as one might expect, take this in their stride.

It’s all so different from Monday, a bright and sunny day as the Scottish invasion began in earnest.

The day got off to an auspicious start, with Josh venturing to Cologne’s magnificent cathedral to climb its gargantuan spires. I declined this opportunity as I was on the other side of the city at the time. Jonny declined as it seemed like too much exercise.

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Things do slightly take a turn when Jonny and I witness a man pull a knife on another chap during an argument near the apartment but no-one is stabbed and the police arrive in short order.

With Cologne beginning to fill up with Scotland fans I stroll around to hear some stories. One group come bearing a flag indicating they’ve driven all the way here from Ayshire. An older gentleman passes and acknowledges them.

“He’s fae Ayrshire too!” one says, pointing at me. “He’s fae the Herald.”

“The Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald?” asks the man. He seems disappointed when I tell him it’s the national one. Fair enough.

We watch the France game in a bar near the cathedral and have a chance meeting with the one and only Ally McCoist on the walk home.

I greet Rangers’ all-time top goalscorer and a 61-time Scotland international with the words “it’s Killie legend Ally McCoist”. I’m not sure he finds it funny.

Ally is, as one might expect, affable and charming if keen not to be delayed by honking patter any longer. He shakes hands and tells us to enjoy Stuttgart.

Tuesday morning brings the news of the apocalyptic weather and the closing of the fan zones. I nip round to a nearby Primark to acquire some sort of rain gear and soon find myself in a queue of Scotland fans who didn’t bring jackets to Germany. One is from Shetland, which is a fair trek, but says he knows of another whose route consisted of travelling from Orkney to Lerwick and taking a ferry to Bergen before heading south – a kind of reverse Viking raid, if you will.

By late afternoon the sky is an ominous shade and fat raindrops begin to fall. Lightning flashes around the towering spires of the cathedral. I think I’ll skip the climb again today.

Above the booms and rumbles from the sky, one can still hear the odd snatch of “we’ve got McGinn”, or the drone of a bagpipe struggling to be heard. It’s the day before the second game of a major tournament and it’ll take more than a bit of rain to dampen the spirits of the Tartan Army.

Let’s hope Scotland bring the thunder on Wednesday night.